Friday December 16, 2016

Milliblog Annual Music round-up 2016

Posted by Karthik

The 9th annual, multi-lingual round-up on Milliblog.

Related read: Milliblog’s Three Laws of Music Appreciation Multiverse

An edited version of this list appears in The Hindu, December 25, 2016. That version also includes a pan-Indian 25-song list. The Saavn playlist for that 25 song list (excluding 2 songs that are not available on Saavn – Komala henne, from Godhi Banna Sadharna Mykattu and Pone, from Meeku Meere Maaku Meeme):
screen-shot-2016-12-25-at-9-23-48-am

PS: This list is based on soundtracks released between December 15, 2015 and December 15, 2016. This is NOT based on release date of films; this is based on release date of soundtracks. I personally find it insulting to tag the soundtracks as a mere byproduct of a film and wait for the film to release (contingent upon so many extraneous factors, far beyond the soundtrack’s release) to include the music in a list. That’s the reason why, for instance, Justin Prabhakaran’s Oru Naal Koothu is not listed here. It was the 3rd best soundtrack of 2015, as it should be.

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Hindi

Hindi film music, beyond the incredibly annoying trend of releasing one single a week (and a single even after the film’s release), was largely in good stead in 2016. This trend reached new heights in 2016. For films like Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (music by Pritam), the record label (Sony) released a song almost every few weeks, making us all (ok, very few – I doubt if anyone really cares) wonder just how many songs are there, in the film. And a song, a very good one, at that—Alizeh—was released after the film’s release. All this makes it difficult for people like me who wait for the film’s soundtrack release to write a review, but I guess other reviewers have reconciled to this staggered release well already. For example, Times of India did a review of a 4-song soundtrack of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and didn’t bother writing about the remaining songs. Another example – Dangal (again, incredible music by Pritam)! The last song was released on December 14th (this annual round-up considers all soundtracks and singles released on or before December 15th), by which time Livemint had already posted a review of 4 songs, clearly unaware of how many songs are finally in the soundtrack or when they will ever be released!

This trend perhaps appears in other forms of the film industry as well. Short films gathered steam like never before in 2016. In fact, Mirror started reviewing short films regularly. Some of those, like Shirish Kunder’s Kriti and Jyoti Kapur Das’s Chutney (produced by Tisca Chopra) broke the clutter to become very popular. So, I assume the size and duration if reducing – of soundtracks (as singles), films (short films) etc. At some point, I guess we may have a theatrical release of a short film that has 1 song in its soundtrack released as a single and not featured in-film!

As always, there were the usual, much-hyped soundtracks that did well only because of the amount of push – paid, PR, digital marketing etc. – behind them, and then there were the little gems that didn’t have any of those and sounded absolutely delightful. Case in point: Krsna’s Cute Kameena – I don’t even know if the film released at all.

The veteran (age-wise, at least) trio, Shankar Ehsaan Loy proved why they are the most inventive and imaginative and that age is just a number (or, perhaps an advantage given the exposure and experience it brings) with a magnificent score for the box-office bomb Mirzya. They followed it up with a pretty good score for another box-office turkey, Rock On 2. Of Amit Trivedi’s 3 films, he got it wonderfully right in Udta Punjab and Fitoor, though, it was less consistent in Dear Zindagi. The big surprises this year were from Clinton Cerejo and Ram Sampath. TE3N and Raman Raghav 2.0 are top notch scores, with a vibrant new sound. Another surprise was from Salim-Sulaiman – for Prakash Jha’s Jai Gangaajal, the duo produced music that seemed to be going far beyond the brief, with delightful experimentation. Vishal-Shekhar too returned with a vengeance in 2016 – Sultan, Akira, Banjo, and to a lesser extent, Befikre, are proof enough.

Tamil composer Santhosh Narayanan made a brief Hindi appearance with Saala Khadoos and even though the music was hardly noticed, he had added lovely nuances to differentiate the Tamil version from the Hindi one. Some of the catchiest songs in 2016, in my view, included the undeniable earworm, Chull (Kapoor & Sons), Pyar Ki (Housefull 3), Kaala Chashma (Baar Baar Dekho), Baby ko bass pasand hai (Sultan), Udta Punjab’s title song and Mirzya’s Hota hai.

Hindi composer(s) of the year:
Shankar Ehsaan Loy

Top 3 Hindi soundtracks of 2016:

01. Mirzya (Shankar Ehsaan Loy)

02. Udta Punjab (Amit Trivedi)

03. TE3N (Clinton Cerejo)

Top 30 Hindi songs of 2016:
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-38-33-pm

01. Aave re hitchki – Mirzya (Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
02. Chull – Kapoor & Sons (Amaal Mallik, Badshah)
03. Ud-daa Punjab – Udta Punjab (Amit Trivedi)
04. Rootha – TE3N (Clinton Cerejo)
05. Hone de batiyaan – Fitoor (Amit Trivedi)*
06. Behooda – Raman Raghav 2.0 (Ram Sampath)
07. Saala khadoos – Saala Khadoos (Santhosh Narayanan)
08. Title song – Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (Pritam)
09. Gilehriyaan – Dangal (Pritam)
10. Ji huzoori – Ki & Ka (Mithoon)

11. Tere bin – Wazir (Shantanu Moitra)
12. Shehar mehboob hai ji – Cute Kameena (Krsna)
13. Keh bhi de – Traffic (Mithoon)
14. Pyar ki – Housefull 3 (Toshi and Sharib Sabri)
15. Khair mangda – A Flying Jatt (Sachin-Jigar)
16. Hota hai – Mirzya (Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
17. Taareefon se – Dear Zindagi (Amit Trivedi)
18. Ishqe di lat – Junooniyat (Ankit Tiwari)
19. Besabriyaan – M.S.Dhoni – The Untold Story (Amaal Mallik)
20. Udan choo – Banjo (Vishal-Shekhar)

21. Dheere dheere – Jai Gangaajal (Salim-Sulaiman)
22. Kaala chashma – Baar Baar Dekho (Prem Hardeep/Badshah)
23. Doli re doli – Mirzya (Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
24. Lamhon ke rasgulle – Kahaani 2 (Clinton Cerejo)
25. Title song – Dangal (Pritam)
26. Rehnuma – Rocky Handsome (Inder Bawra and Sunny Bawra)
27. Udja re – Rock On 2 (Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
28. Purza – Akira (Vishal-Shekhar)
29. Baby ko bass pasand hai – Sultan (Vishal-Shekhar)
30. Nashe si chadh gayi – Befikre (Vishal-Shekhar)

*Not available on Saavn playlist.

—–

Tamil

2016 was Santhosh Narayanan’s year. The man, who had one middling 36 Vayadhinile in 2015, ruled the roost all through 2016, including an Ilayaraja-style achievement of having 2 films for Diwali – Kodi and Kaashmora! He also had Rajinikant’s Kabali, itself a huge milestone for a fairly new composer who made his debut in 2012. Santhosh has indeed come a long way.

But the album of the year easily belongs to Santhosh’s contemporary and friend, Sean Roldan. He had a tepid 2015, with just one soundtrack (144), but he made his sole soundtrack of 2016 count big time – Joker. It’s amazing that director Raju Murugan opted for Sean Roldan in Joker, despite superlative music by Santhosh Narayanan in his last film, Cuckoo. Given the consistently good music across both films, it may be safe to assume that the director has a good ear for music. The other young composer, Anirudh, who produced a knockout Naanum Rowdy Dhaan in 2015, followed it up with wonderfully enjoyable scores in Remo and Rum.

Rahman had a great year, with 24 and Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada that finally released this year. Both had music that was thoroughly enjoyable and extended the veteran (now, veteran) composer’s standing, particularly the latter.

Ghibran was muted largely, barring the highly interesting Chennai 2 Singapore, while the year’s most prolific, D.Imman, made good with a few songs in many soundtracks! As for debuts, Airtel Super Singer’s Ajesh made a brilliant composing debut in Paambhu Sattai, while Darbuka Siva made a great debut in Kidari, only to falter in his second soundtrack, Balle Vellaya Theva. Joshua Sridhar took time off his Kannada sojourn and returned confidently with Parandhu Sella Vaa (better than last year’s 54321). Vishal Chandrashekhar was, interestingly, trying his luck in Tamil and Telugu – in Tamil, his Jil Jung Juk was a delightfully inventive score, even as he produced a pretty decent soundtrack for the Telugu film Krishnagadi Veera Prema Gaadha.

Nivas K Prasanna followed up his superb debut last year with 2 great scores (Zero and Kootathil Oruthan), though in Sethupathy, his music came a cropper. Others like Leon James and Gopi Sundar had a decent enough run. Composer K had a middling run (films like Aandavan Kattalai and Ammani) though a couple of songs in those albums stood out pretty easily. He does have a big Hindi film in the pipeline – Karan Johar produced Ghazi! Hiphop Tamizha (beyond making their Telugu debut) and Harris Jayaraj continued to produce music within their narrowly defined templates. Ditto with Yuvan Shankar Raja and GV Prakash Kumar – quite a few projects but nothing standing out enough to highlight specifically.

Tamil composer of the year:
Santhosh Narayanan

Top 3 Tamil soundtracks of 2016:

01. Joker (Sean Roldan)

02. Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada (A R Rahman)

03. Kabali (Santhosh Narayanan)

Top 30 Tamil songs of 2016:
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-41-39-pm

01. Chellamma – Joker (Sean Roldan)
02. Kadavule vidai – Rum (Anirudh)
03. Neruppu da – Kabali (Santhosh Narayanan)
04. Rasaali – Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada (A R Rahman)
05. Aval – Manithan (Santhosh Narayanan)
06. Sirikkadhey – Remo (Anirudh)
07. Poda poda – Irudhi Sutru (Santhosh Narayanan)
08. Nee uravaaga – Paambhu Sattai (Ajesh)
09. Red road-u – Jil Jung Juk (Vishal Chandrasekhar)
10. Man meedhu – Parandhu Sella Vaa (Joshua Sridhar)

11. Andha pulla manasa – Adhagappattathu Magajanangalay (D.Imman)
12. Kannamma – Rekka (D.Imman)
13. Veredhuvum nijame illai – Zero (Nivas K Prasanna)
14. Kaalam un kaadhali – 24 (A R Rahman)
15. Ola ola kudisayila – Joker (Sean Roldan)
16. Kannadikkala – Maaveran Kittu (D.Imman)
17. Kadhal kolluthadi – Ennul Aayiram (Gopi Sundar)
18. Ro ro roshni – Chennai 2 Singapore (Ghibran)
19. Thalakaalu puriyalayae – Kidari (Darbuka Siva)
20. Kaantha – Uriyadi (Masala Coffee)

21. Snegidhiyae – Raja Mandhiri (Justin Prabharakan)
22. Maya nadhi – Kabali (Santhosh Narayanan)
23. Avalum naanum – Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada (A R Rahman)
24. Maatrangal ondre thaan – Kootathil Oruthan (Nivas K Prasanna)
25. Kadhal kappal – Iraivi (Santhosh Narayanan)
26. Halena – Iru Mugan (Harris Jayaraj)
27. Aayava kanom – Kadalai (Sam C.S.)
28. Imsai raani – Aandavan Kattalai (K)
29. Ei suzhali – Kodi (Santhosh Narayanan)
30. Pothi vacha – Kodai Mazhai (Sambasivam)

—–

Telugu

I’m completely aware of the fact that a tiny segment of people Andhra Pradesh would have heard the music of Gopi Sundar’s Seethamma Andalu Ramayya Sitralu. A slightly larger segment would have heard the songs of Majnu (given the hero, Nani’s status in the filmdom) and an even bigger set would have heard the songs from Oopiri, an obviously bigger budget film given the producers and starring Nagarjuna (besides Karthi). The same thing happened in 2015 too – Gopi Sundar as the composer of the year, with 2 of his soundtracks in the top 3 soundtracks!

I do occasionally track the top 10/20 countdowns from Andhra Pradesh so I know how odd this may seem to people there who may be used to seeing and hearing Devi Sri Prasad and Thaman songs on top. Or, maybe things are changing… I do not know. All I know is that, to my ears, these 2 soundtracks sound fantastic! Gopi has done rather limited work in Malayalam this year (and even less in Tamil). The really big film in Telugu still eludes him (starring Allu Arjun, Ram Charan etc.), but Oopiri is a good start (though musically average) given it featured Nagarjuna. But then, Ram Charan’s Dhruva had music by a debutant-duo, in Telugu (Hiphop Tamizha), so I believe things are changing and that the old guards are crumbling. It happened to Manisharma too, and he did make an impressive comeback this year with Gentleman. So…

Besides Gopi, Telugu filmdom is intriguingly littered with so many interesting composers. Sunny M.R for instance, but he was missing in 2016. But there are others like J.B and Shravan. Achu and Kalyan Koduri. Vivek Sagar and Navneeth Sundar. I have no specific idea how a Right Right’s music or a Meeku Meere Maaku Meeme’s music ‘performed’ in the state, but these are good soundtracks worth a listen.

Overall, I felt that the Telugu film music in 2016 was fairly limited in scope and ambition.

Telugu composer of the year:
Gopi Sundar

Top 3 Telugu soundtracks of the year:

01. Seethamma Andalu Ramayya Sitralu (Gopi Sundar)

02. Majnu (Gopi Sundar)

03. Brahmotsavam (Mickey J Meyer)

Top 30 Telugu songs of 2016:
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-43-12-pm

01. Okko nakshatram – Seethamma Andalu Ramayya Sitralu (Gopi Sundar)
02. Kallumoosi – Majnu (Gopi Sundar)
03. Alli billi – Right Right (J.B)
04. Pone – Meeku Meere Maaku Meeme (Shravan)*
05. Madhuram madhuram – Brahmotsavam (Mickey J Meyer)
06. Chali gaali – Gentleman (Mani Sharma)
07. Yegirenay – Okka Ammayi Thappa (Mickey J Meyer)
08. Rang de – A Aa (Mickey J Meyer)
09. Chudara – Raja Cheyyi Vesthe (Sai Kartheek)
10. Rayya rayya – Bhadram Be Careful Brotheru (J.B)

11. Blockbuster – Sarrainodu (SS Thaman)
12. Seethamalakshmi – Seethamma Andalu Ramayya Sitralu (Gopi Sundar)
13. Ela ela ela – ISM (Anup Rubens)
14. Ninney – Nandini Nursing Home (Achu Rajamani)
15. Aakupachhani chandamaamalaa – Jyo Achyutananda (Sri Kalyanaramana)
16. Mallela vaanela – Baabu Bangaram (Ghibran)
17. Egire oohalake – Rojulu Marayi (J.B)
18. Ko ko kodi – Eedo Rakam Aado Rakam (Sai Karthik)*
19. Pillo o pillo – Savitri (Shravan)
20. Manasantha meghamai – Kalyana Vaibhogame (Kalyan Koduri)

21. Oorikey ala – Majnu (Gopi Sundar)
22. Evare – Premam (Rajesh Murugesan)
23. Chamma chakka – Mama Manchu Alludu Kanchu (Achu)
24. Aalochinchaku – Chinni Chinni Asalu Nalo Regene (Rap Rock Shakeel)
25. Pareshanura – Dhruva (Hiphop Tamizha)
26. Rabba rabba – Chuttalabbayi (SS Thaman)
27. Raalu raaga poolamala – Pelli Choopulu (Vivek Sagar)
28. Sakhiya – Guppedantha Prema (Navneeth Sundar)
29. Masti masti – Nenu Sailaja (Devi Sri Prasad)
30. Nee chepakallu – Sardaar Gabbar Singh (Devi Sri Prasad)

*Not available on Saavn playlist.

—–

Malayalam

A debutant composer (Sooraj S. Kurup) and a now-veteran (Shaan Rahman) ruled Malayalam film music in my view. Sooraj’s lone soundtrack (ignoring his single added in Kochavva Paulo Ayyappa Coelho here) for Valleem Thetti Pulleem Thetti is an inspired, spirited debut, full of exciting music! His Pularkaalam Pole, to me, is this year’s equivalent of last year’s No.1 song, Vasanthamallike (Chandrettan Evideya, Prashant Pillai) – using a similar, carnatic music coated melody with brilliant orchestration to boot, this time going with Karaharapriya raaga. The 3 composer soundtrack for Kismath was a great mix, while singer Sachin Warrier produced a great new, fresh sound in his composing debut for Aanandam.

On Shaan Rahman – he seemed to be pulling a Bijibal in 2016 (who was oddly muted, unlike his 2015 super prolific self!), with many soundtracks and easily standout songs in all of them. Rahul Raj was a close second in the prolific-department in 2016 – I really liked his range, from a Mudhugav to an IDI! Gopi seemed a lot more busier in Telugu, so had limited, but interesting music in few films in Malayalam. Veterans Jerry Amaldev and Vidyasagar just made their presence felt.

I did wonder why there’s not a single song from what is supposedly the biggest hit in Malayalam this year, Pulimurugan. Gopi Sundar’s music, a really short soundtrack and nothing that really stood out for me worth even reviewing. Ditto for the other Mohanlal starrer, Priyadarshan’s Oppam – the music was by 4 Musics and less said about the music the better. And as for Poomaram, I believe there are 2 more songs yet to release, but it seems only fair to consider the already-released Njanum in the 2016 list.

Composer(s) of the year:
Sooraj S. Kurup and Shaan Rahman

Top 3 Malayalam soundtracks of the year:

01. Valleem Thetti Pulleem Thetti – Sooraj S. Kurup

02. Kismath – Sumesh Parameswar, Sushin Shyam, Shamej Sreedhar

03. Aanandam – Sachin Warrier

Top 30 Malayalam songs of 2016:
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-44-47-pm

01. Pularkaalam pole – Valleem Thetti Pulleem Thetti (Sooraj S.Kurup)
02. Manogatham bhavaan – Anuraga Karikkin Vellam (Prashant Pillai)
03. Kisapaathiyil – Kismath (Sushin Shyam)
04. Neelakkannulla maane – Kochavva Paulo Ayyappa Coelho (Shaan Rahman)
05. Ee khalbitha – IDI (Rahul Raj)
06. Thennal nilavinte – Oru Muthassi Gadha (Shaan Rahman)
07. Ee shishirakaalam – Jacobinte Swargarajyam (Shaan Rahman)
08. Payye veesum – Aanandam (Sachin Warrier)*
09. Raavumaayave – Vettah (Shaan Rahman)
10. Njanum – Poomaram (Faisal Razi)

11. Idukki – Maheshinte Prathikaaram (Bijibal)
12. Medapoompattum chutti – Karinkunnam 6s (Rahul Raj)
13. Vaathe poothe – Valleem Thetti Pulleem Thetti (Sooraj S.Kurup)
14. Neela shankhu pushpame – Team 5 (Gopi Sundar)
15. Seythaante – IDI (Rahul Raj)
16. Neeyen sayahna swapnathil – Ma Chu Ka (Gopi Sundar)
17. Virinja poonkurunne – Guppy (Vishnu Vijay)*
18. Rambo – Mudhugauv (Rahul Raj)
19. Thiruvaavaniraavu – Jacobinte Swargarajyam (Shaan Rahman)
20. Chil chinchilamai – Thoppil Joppan (Vidyasagar)*

21. Oonjalilaadi vanna – Action Hero Biju (Jerry Amaldev)*
22. Rosie – Monsoon Mangoes (Jakes Bejoy)
23. Chillu ranthal – Kali (Gopi Sundar)*
24. Para para – Kammatipaadam (John P.Varkey)
25. Khule raston pe – Aanandam (Sachin Warrier)*
26. Ta ta ta tang – Darvinte Parinamam (Sankar Sharma)*
27. Halli sreehalli – Mudhugauv (Rahul Raj)
28. Poyi maranjo – Anuraga Karikkin Vellam (Prashant Pillai)
29. Megha pakshi – Team 5 (Gopi Sundar)
30. Ennodu – Dum (Jassie Gift)

*Not available on Saavn playlist.

—–

Kannada

Amongst all the film industries in 2016 that I track, Kannada produced the most exciting music (I know I did say that Malayalam does that, in my interview with Prashant Pillai – that’s an overall recent trend; in 2016 specifically, I’d hand over that honor to Kannada). Charan Raj and Ajaneesh Loknath were in stupendous form in 2016, producing wonderfully inventive and highly enjoyable music. Ajaneesh can easily take on the mainstream mantle from Arjun Janya now, much like how Arjun himself picked it up from Harikrishna and Gurukiran a few years ago (though Harikrishna is definitely still in the reckoning!).

Other notable debuts include Niladri Kumar, Dheerendra Doss, Judah Sandhy and Vasuki Vaibhav. Good music all through!

Composer(s) of the year:
Charan Raj and Ajaneesh Loknath

Top 3 Kannada soundtracks of 2016:

01. Godhi Banna Sadharna Mykattu – Charan Raj

02. Sundaranga Jaana – Ajaneesh Loknath

03. Pushpaka Vimana – Charan Raj

Top 10 Kannada songs of 2016:
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-46-19-pm

01. Komala henne – Godhi Banna Sadharna Mykattu (Charan Raj)*
02. Kalkond bitte – Sundaranga Jaana (Ajaneesh Loknath)
03. Belageddu – Kirik Party (Ajaneesh Loknath)
04. Nee nanagoskara – Ishtakamya (Ajaneesh Loknath)
05. Hudugaru yella – Akira (Ajaneesh Loknath)
06. Mugilu belmugilu – Pushpaka Vimana (Charan Raj)
07. Gamanisu – Mungaru Male 2 (Arjun Janya)
08. Aaha identha – Niruttara (Niladri Kumar)
09. Muddu pori – Sipaayi (Ajaneesh Loknath)*
10. Sogasu sogasu – Game (Ilayaraja)

11. Malgudiya ooralli – Jessie (Anoop Seelin)
12. Naa e sanjege – Godhi Banna Sadharna Mykattu (Charan Raj)*
13. Naa gudsi – Jigarthanda (Arjun Janya)
14. Jhanak jhanak – Run Antony (Manikanth Kadri)
15. Saaluthillave – Kottigobba-2 (D.Imman)
16. Prathi mounavu – Happy Birthday (V.Harikrishna)*
17. Hey Who Are You? – Kirik Party (Ajaneesh Loknath)
18. Raja di raja – Zoom (SS Thaman)
19. Mugilu matte matte – Puta Tirugisi Nodi (Dheerendra Doss)
20. Hogi baa belake – Neerdose (Anoop Seelin)

21. Kannalle kuntebille – Tyson (Ravi Basrur)*
22. Aley moodathe – Godhi Banna Sadharna Mykattu (Charan Raj)*
23. Ninthalli nillalaare – Chakravyuha (Thaman S)
24. Nee nadhiyaagi – Sipaayi (Ajaneesh Loknath)*
25. Maayavi kanase – Badmaash (Judah Sandhy)
26. Neenu irade – Mungaru Male 2 (Arjun Janya)
27. News nodi – Rama Rama Re (Vasuki Vaibhav)
28. Nandana – Sundaranga Jaana (Ajaneesh Loknath)
29. Jilka jilka – Pushpaka Vimana (Charan Raj)
30. Thangaali – Santhu Straight Forward (V.Harikrishna)

*Not available on Saavn playlist.

—–

Marathi

I haven’t listened to enough Marathi music in 2016, unlike last year where I had listened enough to make a top 10 list. Suffice to say, Sairat and Jaundya Na Balasaheb topped the year for me in Marathi, both by Ajay-Atul.

Sairat (Ajay-Atul)

Jaundya Na Balasaheb (Ajay-Atul)

—–

Indipop

From the limited Indipop music I tracked and listened to in 2016, I’d easily pick my 300 worder Sanjay Divecha and Secret as the best Indipop album of the year. Antarman and Shilpa Rao’s pop debut albums follows closely. Unlike earlier years, have listed the 10 single pop songs in the order of my preference. Thankfully, the list is multilingual.

Top 3 Indipop albums of 2016:

01. Sanjay Divecha and Secret – Sanjay Divecha
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-6-22-02-pm

02. Antarman – Antarman
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-6-23-54-pm

03. Suno – Shilpa Rao
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-6-25-04-pm

Top 10 Indipop songs of 2016:
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-47-26-pm

01. Ota – Sanjay Divecha and Secret (Sanjay Divecha)
02. Hobena – Antarman (Antarman)
03. Challa – Suno (Shilpa Rao)
04. Paayal – Maati Baani, featuring Shankar Tucker and Ankita Joshi*

05. Aalayal thara venam – Masala Coffee (Malayalam)*

06. Neeye – Phani Kalyan (Singers, in Tamil: Yazin Nizar and Sharanya Srinivas)
07. Dibbaradindi – Singer: Shachina Heggar. (Music: Judah Sandhy)
08. Visweswara – Santhosh Chandran Indo Flamenco*

09. 3 Peg – Chandan Shetty
10. The Storm – Donn Bhatt (Album: Connected)

—–

Others/International/Uncategorized

A few uncategorized pieces of music that I found interesting and highly listenable in 2016, in no particular order.

Ababeel – Muhammad: The Messenger of God (OST – A R Rahman)

Drive – Yanni (Album: Sensuous Chill)

Is She With You? – OST, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Hans Zimmer & Junkie XL)

Satrangi – Wrong Side Raju (Sachin-Jigar)

Ghawrbaari – Zulfiqar (Anupam Roy)

Rainbows in the Sky – Sheesh Mahal (Vivek Sagar)

Inshallah – Sting (Album: 57th & 9th)
screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-26-00-pm

24k magic – Bruno Mars (Album: 24k Magic)

Coke Studio Pakistan 2016 – Top 10 songs
cs2016

Comments

comments

  • Subodh

    There’s only one Hindi song that I felt was a clutter breaker – Bulleya from ADHM – and it doesn’t even make your top 30 list. WTH!

    • milliblog

      That’s rather easy to explain 🙂 You wrote “that I felt was a…”. Meaning, it is your personal view. Like this list in mine 🙂

      • Subodh

        Bulleya has got 108M views on youtube (I think second highest after Chull), so it is not just my personal view. I get it that its your list, but I just don’t get how a song that is liked by both classes and masses doesn’t make it to top 30 while a massy song like Chull is at #2.

        The only other songs that I liked this year – Amit Trivedi’s Ranga Re and Reshmaiya’s Haal E Dil – also won’t make into anyone’s top 20 list.

        • milliblog

          I anticipated the YouTube views and classes/masses argument.

          Let me address it this way – considering many in India are buying either a Hyundai or a Maruti, how would you explain a few people buying a Fiat? Or a Mini Cooper? Should they succumb to popular sentiment and buy what others are buying?

          Another example – considering a lot of people are buying either an iPhone, or a Moto or a One Plus, how would you explain the others who are buying a HTC?

          At least in those cases, one can use logic – and explain it by comparing features and specs. In music, that goes out of the window. It’s literally, ‘My brain says so, thank you!’.

          So, there are a few ways to discover, appreciate and like a song – one of them is to see what others are liking and assume that if so many do, could they be ‘wrong’? Let me like it too.

          Another is to use one’s own brain and mind and find what one likes, without specifically bothering about market trends or preferences.

          It’s the same logic as you liking Ranga re or Haal-e-dil. I quite like Ranga re too, btw.

          • Sathya

            The irony could be that – in this commercially driven music market, the fiat and mini coopers composers might be wondering how to tap into Maruti / Hyundai space.
            BTW, I have been reading milliblog for a while, but first time commenting here, thanks for the work you do.

  • ragu raam

    strange to find tarai tapatai , dharmadurai , sethupathy not in the list of tamil,
    i think you are also making a list of songs which missed by a whisker , i hope these movies figure there,

    • milliblog

      Not making a list per se, but yes, they were all part of the long list from which I arrived at this 30.

  • Vivek Ravi

    Thanks for the list, Karthik.

  • Say Something

    // Nivas K Prasanna followed up his superb debut last year with 2 great scores (Zero and Kootathil Oruthan), though in Sethupathy, his music came a cropper. //

    Nothing can be further from the truth. To “me” none of Prasanna’s soundtracks are better than Sethupathi.

    Ever since this blog has become “to my ears”, “to your ears” etc., I stopped taking it seriously. It’s more of a one man’s opinion. As long as I find anything new that I would have normally missed, I’m happy for it and move on.

    • milliblog

      /Ever since this blog has become “to my ears”, “to your ears” etc., I stopped taking it seriously. It’s more of a one man’s opinion/ – when was it anything other than this? Also, did I, at some point, give you the feeling that it is not one man’s opinion and is an authoritative educational lesson in film music? If so, let me know when and how, and I can perhaps clear that perception that you seem to be wrongly holding on to.

      • Say Something

        No, it’s always been a one man’s opinion — so nothing to cry about 🙂

        Is almost like a disclaimer (and such a good defense) in big bold letters..!

        • milliblog

          Phew. I thought I had somehow given the perception that these views are based on facts (which, for something like music, would be pretty difficult to do, btw). 🙂

          • Say Something

            Not facts but they often “appear” as expert views. Esp for the uninformed — not familiar with your previous comments over the years. So easy to take offense where not intended.

          • milliblog

            Possibly. But I’d like to believe people are suitably aware by now, what with people tweeting scene by scene reviews of movies from the theatre. It’s far too easy to share an opinion on anything, including music, without waiting for the so-called expert to offer his/her pov.

  • Siju Alexander

    U missed lots of good malayalam songs. Check my playlist http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuTWvemRUOwZIoNDzIuyHveCO1UwaSuqc

    • Siju Alexander

      I request u to please listen to mohanlal movie songs (writing here bcoz of ur comments above) once again..Minungum song from oppom got 8300k views in youtube (2nd best in 2016, first being poomaram with 11000k+ views). its one of the best song that u missed from ur list. Check chinamma song also. pulimurugan song kadaniyum got 5200k views (3rd best).

      • milliblog

        I did hear all those songs you have mentioned. I do not let YouTube views dictate what I should like or not like, however.

  • Vishnu

    Some tamil choices made me wonder if we listened to the same song.. And of course the usual questions like – why this album over the other album, why this song in that album rather than the other one etc.. I guess you’ve answered that in numerous ways already..

    And then I went to the telugu list.. I haven’t listed to almost 20 plus songs in that list and its been a complete revelation for me.. And that, is the reason why I’m glad you are doing this blog.. Thanks again..

    • milliblog

      That’s why I wrote that intro. I’m acutely aware of how polarising this list may be (one man’s list, after all) when compared to what people in AP are usually fed with – from ‘popular’ charts to FM airplays to YouTube paid pushes and viral hits. And at those points, I have to keep in mind and keep reminding myself that this is a list of what I, as an individual, likes to listen. If others find something new to listen to and like, great. If not, I’m sure people are smart enough to make their own playlists.

  • KarthikManikandan

    EY SANDAKAARA not in Top30… 😱 Crimeee.. sheer crime !
    And also leaving out THALLI POGATHEY gonna raise many eye brows as well ..

    Now I really want to know what formula goes in to come up with dis top30 list.. leaving out te crowd favourites/sensational hits a deliberate move ??

  • rnjbond

    I always look forward to these round-ups. It exposes me to songs and soundtracks I missed and even when I disagree (Tu Hai from Mohenjo Daro not in the top 30?), I appreciate the effort it takes constantly.

    Keep up the good work!

  • rnjbond

    Another big trend in Hindi music in 2016 was the constant remaking of older pop songs for Hindi movies… often to mixed results.

    Sometimes it turned out well, as was the case with Kala Chashma (Baar Baar Dekho), Kar Gayi Chull and Let’s Nacho (Kapoor & Sons), and Soch Na Sake (Airlift).

    But many other times, it did not turn out well at all — especially in cases where credit was barely (if even) given the original composer, like Nachange Saari Raat (Junooniyat). But even remakes like Nachna Aaonda Nahin (Tum Bin 2), Gal Ban Gayi, or Maahi Ve (Wajah Tum Ho) turned out pretty bad. Meet Bros are especially notorious for this,

    Okay, rant over.

    • Agree that this year has been particularly annoying with the remakes.

    • milliblog

      I’d not outright dismiss it as annoying. After remake films have been happening too in parallel. It’s just that many of these remake songs are lazily done, like Humma humma. The 4 you mentioned were pretty good newer variants.

      • rnjbond

        Humma really didn’t need a remix and I’m not a fan of the remake… ruins a lot of what made the original great (not to take away from Jubin Nautiyal’s nice vocals though)

  • Another fantastic roundup. Don’t always agree with your picks, and this year isn’t an exception, but wouldn’t have discovered Telugu/Kannada/Malayalam film music without religiously reading milliblog so good to see it going strong

    • milliblog

      I doubt if there can ever be one list that we all can agree upon 🙂

  • Bharathiraja Elangovan

    Wonderful roundup, great effort…

    But in Tamil top 30, how did you miss Thalli Pogathey???

    • milliblog

      My first 2 preferences from AYM are Raasali and Avalum naanum. 3rd choice is Thalli pogathey, but by the time it comes to 3rd I need to stack it up against 28 other songs to make the top 30 🙂

  • Arjun Pv

    very good set of top 30 in every lists .. good work man.. even though I smelt wrong when u didn’t add ‘ Hey Sandakkaara, Thallipogathe, Jugni film songs, kavalai vendam songs… Anyway u have taken all music in to consideration .. Good work …

  • Jaydeep

    Fantastic Round up as usual.
    Jag ghoomeya – Neha Bhasin version & Starboy – Weekend / Daft Punk would’ve definitely done well on my list.
    Cheers to one more great year for milliblog!!

  • Sathyajit Krishnan

    Another year of Average Lacklustre Music in Bollywood, the standards have dipped significantly in the past few years. Btw, suprised not to find “Anuvai” from Kalam, in the Top 20. Thought that was one of the bests songs this year.

    • milliblog

      It sure was in my long list, but as always, the top 30 is just that… 30 🙂

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